NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising recently recognized three Virginia Tech advisors as regional award winners for their achievements in promoting student success.

The following advisors received their awards in March at the conference of NACADA Region 2, which includes Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia:

Page Fetter, Excellence in Advising-New Advisor Award

Fetter is the associate director of University Studies and Scholarship Support.

Zack Underwood, director of University Studies and Scholarship Support, said Fetter "makes giant impacts on staff members in their everyday roles, including encouraging staff to try new methods in advising, teaching, and communicating with students.”

Michael Poore, a graduate student and former student peer mentor for University Studies, commented in a letter of support about working with Fetter as she taught a First-Year Experience course for undecided students. “Not only did she show a great degree of openness and respect to me in the classroom setting, but she made sure that I was still able to be successful as a student myself. I am truly appreciative of how accommodating, understanding, and caring she was of me along with her students.”

Grace Burden, Honorable Mention for Excellence in Advising-Primary Advisor Role

Burden is an academic advisor for the Department of Biological Sciences.

Susan Haymore, director of undergraduate advising for the College of Science, wrote in her nomination letter: “Grace is always looking for opportunities to learn, grow, and give back. Her enthusiasm for helping students is contagious and inspires other think about new ways to connect with students.”

During her first semester at Virginia Tech, Burden worked with a student who was struggling so much with a biology class that he was ready to abandon college altogether. Burden asked questions, assumed nothing, and was the first to realize the student had been placed in the wrong course. “This student continued to pursue his degree because Grace took the time to understand his unique situation and provided him the encouragement he needed,” wrote Haymore.

Janice Chatham, Honorable Mention for Excellence in Advising-Primary Advisor Role

Chatham is an academic advisor for University Studies and Scholarship Support

Meredith Gerber, assistant director of Career and Professional Development, described in a letter of support how Chatham frequently refers students to their office. “Janice doesn’t just tell students to reach out to us, she often takes an extra step (especially when a student is really struggling with choice of major) to send an email to both me and the student to make a personal introduction. Very few advisors make this extra effort to help the student feel like there is a real person behind the recommendation.”

Marlena Lester, director of advising for the College of Engineering, added in her letter of support, “Janice embodies all the characteristics of an outstanding academic advisor and the core values of academic advising.”

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